Commission issues order to advance analog-to-digital switchover

The FCC advanced the DTV transition on Aug. 4 by establishing a timetable for final DTV channel assignments, setting firm deadlines specifying when broadcasters must begin offering full-power digital service and taking several other steps that address important aspects of the switchover.

During its regular monthly meeting, the commission issued a Report and Order implementing steps including:

  • Launching an open channel-election process in November 2004 for a final DTV table of allotments;
  • Setting firm deadlines for digital stations to increase their power levels;
  • Mandating inclusion of PSIP information in digital broadcast signals;
  • Temporarily ending the simulcast requirement;
  • Clarifying interference protection for TV channels 51-69;
  • Making clear its digital closed-captioning rules;
  • Requiring V-chip functionality in all DTV receivers after an 18-month transition;
  • Considering individual deployment of distributed transmission technology on a case-by-case basis and fast-tracking a proceeding on the matter.

These steps to accelerate the transition process were unanimously adopted.

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